Warning: spoilers for Leverage season 5 premiere
1. Parker and Haridson tell the team they’re dating.
In season 4, Hardison and Parker were dating but it wasn’t as if you could tell they were dating. That’s why when the lovebirds revealed to the team they were in a relationship, it was a brief but awesome moment. Let me reiterate for the hundredth time: Parker and Hardison are a freakin’ great couple. So glad they outed themselves. Loved those flashbacks of their vacation even more. Hardison totally let Parker call the shots, didn’t he? Rappelling down numerous buildings was right up his girlfriend’s alley. And Hardison went along for the ride. Although, you’d think by the third time (Istanbul, Turkey), he would have gotten the hang of it.
2. Nate looks refreshed and not weighed down by all his emotional baggage
It is just me or did Nate look amazing in the premiere? He got off the boat. He looked refreshed, reinvigorated, rehabbed and ready to con. Something’s clearly going on (more on that later) but I couldn’t stop staring at him. Plus, he thoroughly relished going after the bad guy and complete with Hardison’s know-how, he figured out a way for said bad guy, Scott Roemer (Cary Elwes), to steal the Spruce Goose. How hilarious was that simulation scene?
3. Nate and Sophie being all cute and kissy
I can’t get enough of these two. Again, when Nate got off the boat and Sophie was there to greet him. He let her know while he was at sea, he got his priorities in order. They shared this passionate kiss. The couple was mega-cute all episode long.
4. Eliot getting the chance to exercise his foodie skills
Since the Leverage gang have to basically start from scratch thanks to the events of the end of season 4, Hardison bought a microbrewery that’ll house their new headquarters. Have I mentioned that they’re officially setting up shop in Portland, Ore.? It’s great because, in real life, Portland’s actually where the show is filmed. Another major benefit of holing up in Portland and buying the microbrewery? Eliot gets to be the chef. He gets to apply all his culinary skills he’s amassed over the years. I love foodie Eliot like nobody’s business. When the badass starts talking pairing beer and food, it’s as sexy as when he goes all medieval on the bad guys. Now if we could just get Mr. Spencer a love interest, that would be great.
5. The Guest Stars
I’m always all about the guest stars. You have to know this about me by now.
The Actor: Cary Elwes
Leverage Role: Scott Roemer, the very big bad of “The (Very) Big Bird Job.” I love Elwes, so it’s always tough to see him be the criminal but it definitely felt like the actor had lots of fun playing the bad guy. The Leverage group, of course, got the best of him like they almost always do. It was fun seeing how it all went down.
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: He’ll always be the gorgeous Westley from Princess Bride. But, on TV, he’s been Pierre Desperaux in three episodes of Psych and has guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU, The X-Files and Seinfeld. He’s well known for his role in a couple of the Saw films as well.
The Actor: Jay Acovone
Leverage Role: Samuel Busey, Chief of Security for Roemer’s company, Global Transit
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: Acovone is a veteran of movie and TV. I remember him most from his short-lived series from the 80s called Hollywood Beat. He and Jack Scalia partnered up as cops in this Miami Vice-clone set in Los Angeles. Jay was Deputy D.A. Joe Maxwell on the Beauty and the Beast series that starred Ron Perelman and Linda Hamilton. He’s also guest-starred on Silk Stalkings, Friends, NYPD Blue and The Mentalist.
The Actor: Adam Baldwin
Leverage Role: BFOE (Badass friend of Eliot)
Where You’ve Seen Him Before: Where haven’t you seen Baldwin? Way back in the day he was the bodyguard in the 1980 flick, My Bodyguard. But over the years he’s become synonymous with the word “badass” taking on roles like Jayne in Joss Whedon’s Firefly (and the subsequent movie based on the show called Serenity) and Casey on NBC’s Chuck. He guest-starred in five episodes during Angel‘s final season. Leverage‘s Christian Kane was in a couple of those episodes as well. So this appearance as an old friend of Eliot’s was a bit of a reunion.
6. The episode’s mysterious end
I am not even going to speculate on what the last scene of “The (Very) Big Bird Job” meant. I’m just happy that it involves Nate and Hardison because I’m very intrigued by the dynamics between the two. If anyone wants to guess or start the speculation, feel free. Because I’ve got nothing for now. I hope whatever alliance they have going on is for a good cause. I hope it doesn’t hurt the rest of the team. And I hope keeping whatever secret they’re keeping from their girlfriends doesn’t sabotage these relationships.
Leverage airs Sundays at 9/8c on TNT.